Do you know how to balance your checkbook? (Or am I dating myself with even the mention of checks?!) If you do know what I’m talking about, then perhaps a better question since I suspect everyone knows how to do basic math – Do you actually balance your checkbook? I’m the first to admit that I do not (ironic considering I work for a bank, I know!).
Back in college, I would make half-hearted attempts, but would inevitably forget to record a cash withdrawal, check deposit or debit card transaction at some point. My ATM receipt was my sole means of ensuring that I had “enough money” in my account (despite only having a vague idea of what “enough money” meant). Sound familiar?
But now I’m an adult who’s responsible for more than just myself, and I have regular expenses that I can’t go without paying. Well, I technically could but then my child would go hungry and we’d be kicked out of our home (hello diapers and formula, mortgage payments and property tax!). Thankfully, my financial institution (Wells Fargo of course) has recently launched Cash Flow Monitor, a very cool tool that I really, really wish existed when I was in college.
How Cash Flow Monitor (CFM) Works
Say you’re in school and have your monthly rent, cell phone and cable/internet bills and car loan payments. You have one-off purchases like that new laptop for school or books for the new semester. Maybe you have a part-time job as a barista at the local coffee shop and some cash from your parents on a regular basis.
How do you keep track of all the money going in and out of your account? Here’s how CFM could come in handy:
- Plan ahead. You no longer need to do mental math to figure out how much money will be left after you’ve paid your bills. CFM will take care of that for you!
- Take control and don’t get dinged. The Cash Cushion (as determined by you) lets you quickly see (and act on) potential low balance days.
- Automate it. Schedule your payments using bill pay or transfers and let the bank take care of paying your bills on time – one less thing for you to think about when you’re in the midst of midterms.
And a quick tip that I’ve found to be useful that I want to pass along – CFM knows what Wells Fargo knows, which means that the more you tell it (i.e., the more transactions you add to bill pay, transfers, etc.) the better it will be at estimating your future balances.
Check out CFM and tell us what you think!
We’re still beta testing CFM, which means we would love for people like you to try it out and provide your feedback so we can make it even better. You will need to be an existing Wells Fargo customer (i.e., have a checking account and access to online banking).
- Go to https://labs.wellsfargo.com/cm
- Log in using your existing Wells Fargo online username/password
- Start using CFM and tell us what you think via the surveys sprinkled throughout the tool or via the feedback link in the tool
Thanks in advance for your input. We can’t guarantee that we’ll be able to act on every bit of feedback we get, but we do promise to try!